Announcing the 11th Annual What A Character! Blogathon – Call for posts

Eleven years ago, it began with a spark of inspiration. What is the one thing that practically every film fan can agree on…the one thing that every cinephile looks forward to? What is the celluloid glue that holds us all together so dearly? Our love of character actors.

From the earliest years of Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the network has broadcast “What A Character!” interstitial short tributes honoring various character actors. Many of the most popular supporting players have been highlighted over the years, including Marjorie MainEdna May OliverBeulah BondiWilliam Demarest, and Butterfly McQueen. These consummate pros were the inspiration for the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon. Kellee, Aurora, and I decided to dedicate a blogathon to those invaluable talents who often stole the scene. Now, for the eleventh consecutive year, we continue the tradition. Details after the jump

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Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 05 Picks

Well, we’re in the final week of TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. I’ve still got a little room on the DVR. Check out these last few days of picks! As always, all times are Eastern. Week 01 picks are here. Week 02 picks are here. Week 03 picks are here. Week 04 picks are here.

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Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 04 Picks

We’re now coming into the stretch of TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. I’ve watched a lot of new-to-me films, some great, some not-so-great. Emphasis for these picks is on films I haven’t seen yet and those increasingly rare rarities. Fun fact: I got hooked on TCM for good on Jean Gabin Day during the 2011 SUTS, so in a roundabout way, SUTS led to TCM Party. Picks for each day after the jump. As always, all times are Eastern.

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Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 03 Picks

Here is a list of what I’ll be watching and/or DVRing during Week 03 of TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. Emphasis is on films I haven’t seen yet and those increasingly rare rarities. Fun fact: I got hooked on TCM for good on Jean Gabin Day during the 2011 SUTS, so in a roundabout way, SUTS led to TCM Party. Picks for each day after the jump. As always, all times are Eastern.

This week is gonna kinda sorta be super random because I’m running late (it’s Tuesday as I write this) and I’m not crazy for anyone this week other than Joan Crawford and Toshiro Mifune, and many of these films play on TCM quite often. So I’ll really be looking for the odd and the rare.

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Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 02 Picks

Here is a list of what I’ll be watching and/or DVRing during Week 02 of TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. Emphasis is on films I haven’t seen yet and those increasingly rare rarities. Fun fact: I got hooked on TCM for good on Jean Gabin Day during the 2011 SUTS, so in a roundabout way, SUTS led to TCM Party. Picks for each day after the jump. As always, all times are Eastern.

Continue reading “Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 02 Picks”

Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 01 Picks

Here is a list of what I’ll be watching and/or DVRing during TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. Emphasis is on films I haven’t seen yet and those increasingly rare rarities. Fun fact: I got hooked on TCM for good on Jean Gabin Day during the 2011 SUTS, so in a roundabout way, SUTS led to TCM Party. Picks for each day after the jump. As always, all times are Eastern.

Continue reading “Turner Classic Movies Summer Under The Stars 2022 — Week 01 Picks”

10th Annual What A Character: Evening Edition

Hey night owls and West Coasters, Paula here to close out our 10th Annual What a Character! Blogathon! It always brings me so much joy to see so much love for the backbone of studio-era Hollywood, the supporting players.

As you may have seen in the announcement post, this tenth year comes with giveaways from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and The University Press of Kentucky, both of which are providing film-related books to ten lucky participants. We will randomly pick the winners toward the end of the weekend. Winners will be notified on social media or by email.

And now, without further ado, this evening’s fabulous entries:

Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog writes that Lillian Randolph “is instantly relatable and somehow more genuine than the stars she supports.”

Toni at Watching Forever profiles a familiar face from the TV series “Gunsmoke” in “Beyond Festus: The Career of Dan Curtis.”

The Classic Movie Muse takes a deep dive into the life and work of Lucille La Verne, whose “bone-chilling” voice made her the first to have a speaking part in an animated feature-length film.

Lesley at Second Sight Cinema investigates the possibly unknowable nature of one of my favorite actors in “Jack Carson, International Man of Mystery.”

Chris at Blog of the Darned profiles the criminally underused Theresa Harris.

Lady Eve’s Reel Life looks into the villainous (and heroic) roles of another of my favorite actors, Conrad Veidt.

Kayla from Whimsically Classic details her favorite roles played by character actor Elisha Cook Jr.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s special 10th Anniversary ‘thon.

What A Character! The cast of LURED (1947)

I was a late bloomer with Lured. I didn’t see Douglas Sirk’s remake of the 1939 French film Pieges until the mid-teens of the present century. This comedy/drama/film noir is a bit complicated, and I don’t want to reveal too much for those who haven’t seen the film. It’s so much fun, you deserve to see it for yourself. But here goes: Never-lovelier Lucille Ball portrays Sandra Carpenter, an American showgirl stranded in London. She’s working as a taxi dancer when her friend and co-worker Lucy (Tanis Chandler) disappears, probably the latest victim of the “Poet Killer,” a shadowy murderer who advertises for his prey in the personals section of the newspaper and taunts the police by mailing love poems to them. When Sandra goes to Scotland Yard to try and find Lucy, she is recruited by Inspector Harley Temple (Charles Coburn) to go undercover for the Yard. She will be essentially acting as bait for the killer, answering any and all personal ads that look sketchy enough to be leads. The first seeks a dress model. She goes to the studio of Charles van Druten (Boris Karloff), a former fashion designer, who is certainly unhinged. Is he the Poet Killer?

Meanwhile, Sandra had been trying to audition for a better dancing gig, in a new show with real producers, Robert Fleming (George Sanders) and Julian Wilde (Cedric Hardwicke). Long story short, while answering another personal ad, Sandra encounters “unmitigated cad” Fleming, and sparks fly. She’s on duty at the time, but he keeps turning up in the most unlikely places as she pursues the investigation. Hmm…

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Announcing the What A Character! *10*th Annual Blogathon – Dec. 4, 2021

Just three of the many many delightful names below the title: Porter Hall, Juanita Moore, and Una Merkel

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

It’s the TENTH anniversary of the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon A RIOT!

It all began with What A Character!, Turner Classic Movies (TCM)’s series of interstitial dedications that honor character actors. You have no doubt seen these informative and entertaining video tributes to Edna May Oliver, Beulah Bondi, William Demarest, Butterfly McQueen, among many other supporting players whose work stands the test of time.

Unable to resist those actors, Aurora, Kellee, and I decided to dedicate a blogging event in their honor, and the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon was born. Now, for the 10th consecutive year, we continue the tradition.

Aurora of Once Upon a Screen and @CitizenScreen, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and @Irishjayhawk66, and myself, Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club, @Paula_Guthat, and @TCM_Party extend an invitation to the 2021 WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon to all bloggers who appreciate the laughter, the good taste, the double-takes, the heart, and the comfort that all the character actors have brought us through the years.

This announcement also serves as a heartfelt thank you to all who have participated in this event so graciously for nine years. The talent, enthusiasm, and passion with which you have approached our beloved character actors are beyond anything we could have imagined. We hope you join us again for this special celebration!

The 10th Annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon takes place on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

  • Let the hosts know which character actor you choose by leaving a comment below.
  • We prefer no repeats, i.e. previously published posts.
  • Character actors can be from any era of film or television.
  • Please include the name and URL of your blog and your Twitter handle if you have one to help us promote your work properly.
  • Publish your post on or before December 4, 2021.
  • Please include the event banner (designed by yours truly from an idea by Aurora) on your blog to help us promote this special event

HAVE FUN and spread the word!

Giveaways!

A tenth anniversary is a big deal, a fact recognized by both TCM and The University Press of Kentucky, who have offered books to give away to a lucky 10 U.S. and Canada WHAT A CHACRACTER! bloggers.

From the TCM Library, we have 5 copies of The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter by Jeremy Arnold with a foreword by Robert Osborne. A big thank you to Justin Gottlieb, Entertainment Marketing, Social Media Manager at Turner Classic Movies for securing these books for us.

While you may well be familiar with TCM, you may not know about The University Press of Kentucky, which has a wonderful array of film history-related biographies and analytical studies in its Screen Classics series. For our event, Director of Sales & Marketing Brooke Raby has offered a sampling of their offerings, one copy of each of the following titles:

Charles Boyer: The French Lover by John Baxter

Natalie Wood: A Life by Gavin Lambert

Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King by Foster Hirsch

Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood by Robert S. Birchard

Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten by Bernard F. Dick

Thank you to Brooke for the terrific list of books.

One Last Thing: Much gratitude to my friends and co-hosts, Kellee and Aurora, without whom this blogathon would not exist, and both of whom were instrumental to the development of TCM Party. One decade down: forever to go. Happy WHAT A CHARACTER! Anniversary!

Chosen Actors and Participating Blogs

Felix Bressart – Taking Up Room

Jack Carson – Second Sight Cinema

Hans Conried – A Shroud of Thoughts

Elisha Cook, Jr. – Whimsically Classic

Wally Cox – Journeys in Classic Film

Diana Dors – Real Weegie Midget Reviews

Mildred Dunnock and Patricia Collinge – The Last Drive In

Hope Emerson – Shadows and Satin

William Frawley – By Rich Watson

Theresa Harris – Blog of the Darned

Kathleen Harrison – Caftan Woman

Edward Everett Horton – Silent Film Music

Jessie Royce Landis – Michele Price

Lured (1947) Supporting Cast – Paula’s Cinema Club

Lucille La Verne – The Classic Movie Muse

Cloris Leachman – Outspoken & Freckled

Doro Merande – Trivial History

Edna May Oliver – Once Upon a Screen

Eugene Pallette – Top 10 Film Lists

Lillian Randolph – Another Old Movie Blog

George Tobias – A Person in the Dark

Conrad Veidt – Lady Eve’s Reel Life

TCMFF 2021: DOCTOR X (1932) + The Horror Films of Michael Curtiz short doc

 DOCTOR X (1932) © TCM Classic Film Festival 2021

Late Thursday night/very early Friday aka 1:30 a.m. Eastern, you can catch the TCM premiere of the recently restored Doctor X (1932).

I’ve always had a soft spot for two-strip Technicolor, and this particular film is a fun, appealing hybrid of horror and screwball comedy. For the Classic Film Festival, TCM has paired it with a short doc about director Michael Curtiz’ horror oeuvre. More after the jump!

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